October 2: A Long Way from Home
1. Describe a time when you asked God for guidance. Did God’s response bring you comfort? If so, how? If not, why not?
2. When you look back at your life’s journey, do you see God walking with you? Where have you seen God’s presence and guidance most clearly?
3. How do you draw closer to God when you feel isolated? Do you find it easier to turn to God when you feel alone or when you are surrounded by others? When is your relationship with God strongest?
4. Have you ever received an answer to prayer that was similar to the one in today’s meditation? Do you appreciate more direct guidance from God? If so, why? Would it comfort you to have reassurance that God will be with you whatever you choose?
5. How do you reach out to those who are isolated? Does your church provide opportunities for community? In what ways are you intentional about connecting with others?
October 9: Investing
1. Do you think of investing primarily in financial terms, like today’s writer used to, or in spiritual terms? What does it mean to you to think about investing in your spiritual life?
2. How do you invest in spending time with God? How do you invest in your relationships with and service to others? What can you do to strengthen these relationships?
3. Today’s writer says, “Only God can evaluate our actions and judge the return on our investment.” Do you ever find yourself feeling concerned with how others view your actions, rather than remembering that God’s evaluation is most important? How do you deal with these feelings?
4. What things in your life distract you from focusing on God? What spiritual practices help you to prioritize your faith?
5. What does it look like to invest in your community? How can your church help you? How can you better serve others?
October 16: Invisible Barriers
1. What barriers do you recognize in your life? Do you think you have other barriers that you are unaware of? What can you do to recognize these barriers?
2. What “full freedom and blessings” does God want us to enjoy? How do we miss out on these things because of the invisible barriers in our lives?
3. Describe a time when you thought that you knew your motives for something you did, only to realize later that you didn’t fully understand them. What did this experience teach you about yourself? What did it teach you about the role God plays in your understanding of yourself?
4. Today’s writer suggests that we pray as David did in Psalm 139. Name your favorite prayers from scripture. What spiritual practices help you to better understand your heart?
5. Where do you recognize invisible barriers in your church? In your community? In the world? What do you think we can do to help expose these barriers and tear them down?
October 23: Wearing Our Badge
1. Do you have multiple roles that you fill? What roles do you not enjoy as much as others? What do you do when you don’t feel like fulfilling one of your roles?
2. Do you struggle with wearing your faith outwardly every day? If not, what helps you avoid this struggle? If so, why? In what situations is it easiest for you to display your faith?
3. How can you better reflect your faith through your actions? What do you do when you feel that you are not reflecting your faith in the way you would like?
4. If you find yourself struggling to wear your faith proudly, how does your church community encourage you? What could you do to help another member of the congregation who is struggling in this way?
5. How do you ask God to restore your strength and help you display your faith to others? How does it encourage you to know that even if we hide our faith, God will help us show it through our actions?
October 30: We of Little Faith
1. Describe a time when you felt your faith was not big enough or strong enough to do what you hoped. What encouraged you during this time? Is it OK not to have “huge” faith all the time? Why or why not?
2. Have you ever felt desperate for God to do something in your life or the life of someone you know? Did the situation turn out as you had hoped? What did this experience teach you about God’s power and will for us?
3. Who in your life serves as an example of faith? What do you admire about this person’s faith? Do you hope to serve as an example of faith for others? How will you do this?
4. What scripture passages bring you comfort when you feel your faith is not big enough?
5. Today’s meditation talks about the bleeding woman from Mark 5. What other biblical figures come to mind when you think of a person’s faith and God’s power?
“I believe with all my heart that vulnerability and authenticity are the only way to find wholeness in Jesus Christ. … I believe in the holistic, healing love and salvation in Jesus Christ, who walks with us in the valleys and brings beauty from ash heaps again and again and again. I am here to tell you that I have been on the mountaintops and in the valleys, and I have discovered that we need a reset in our souls. We need to share stories so that others will too. When we’re free to be real, that’s when the real joy comes.” Read more.